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Adam Green showed Times Square how to rock and proceeded to rule the roost at the venerable Town Hall tonight. Midway through his 90-minute set, Green says, “People say you can’t play Town Hall…,” and he’s proven them wrong. As seen from the beautiful array of fans in the house, from gaggles of dancing teens and their smiling moms in Adam Green tees, to puzzled grandmas, to the glitterati of the modeling and music scenes, to us regular folk, Green is a kind of spokesperson for the outsiders, the underdogs, the artists, the hip nerds, and the smart alecks. This born and bred New Yorker has found his niche. “You people have a good sense of humor,” he assures us.

The ever-witty, fringe-armed Green isn’t afraid to show his vulnerability, even on the “big” stage. He’s a charming klutz: dropping his mike, asking how to get his acoustic guitar to work, getting legs twisted in his chord, giggling in the midst of a chorus, and doing the awkward Fig Newton dance and the moonwalk (badly). He’s an old softie too: blowing kisses to the audience, rambling between songs with unrehearsed, absurd personal stories, telling fans how much he loves us (especially “you guest list types”). Green’s captivating, yet awkward stage persona is no mere act, but a heightened version of the real Adam Green. Perhaps that’s another reason for his wide appeal; he’s no poseur.

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Albert Hammond Jr. outside Town Hall after the show

Green’s set tonight is a hand-picked assortment of best-of songs from his five solo releases, opening with the appropriately-epic “Festival Song” and ending on an upbeat note with an encore of “Jessica”. Two lovely gospel singers and Green’s four-piece rock band helped bring his songs to lofty heights and make the generous set fly by, (not to mention the duet of “Drowning Head First” accompanied by his sweet girlfriend). At one point, one guy in the crowd yells out for Green to stop talking and start another song, and he couldn’t help but laugh, “Where are you going, to bed? It’s only ten o’clock!”

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Laura Marling

The 18-year-old Brit Laura Marling, who just finished a European tour with Green, proved a stunning opening act. Her solo acoustic set was made up of six ghostly, melancholic songs brimming with themes of love and loss that belie her youth and fragile appearance. We’d first seen her sing with friends Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit at SXSW, and as expected, Marling’s show tonight was worth arriving early for. Her ethereal presence was the polar opposite of middle act Tim Fite, the animated, goofball provocateur. He came armed with a series of crowd-pleasing, eclectic songs, many bearing cartoon accompaniment, such as “What Dogs Eat”.–MVW/photos by Eileen Murphy

Adam Green set list: Festival Song, Hollywood Bowl, Broadcast Beach, I Wanna Die, Leaky Flask, Cannot Get Sicker, Friends of Mine, Gemstones, Chubby Princess, Nat King Cole, Her Father and Her, Drowning Head First, Getting Led, Be My Man, Novotel, Grandma Shirley and Papa, Salty Candy, Dance with Me, Morning After Midnight, Baby’s Gonna Die Tonight, and encores: Tropical Island, Carolina, We’re Not Supposed To Be Lovers, Jessica

 
  1. [...] ¢ Jeremy Clarkson ¢ Kate Moss ¢ Lily Allen ¢ Lofty Aspirations ¢ Menu …Adam Green at Town Hall, NYC, May 10, 2008, with Laura …Adam Green showed Times Square how to rock and proceeded to rule the roost at the venerable Town [...]